Kansas Hawthorn (Coccinioides)

The Kansas Hawthorn (Coccinioides) is generally described as a perennial tree or shrub. This is native to the U.S. (United States) .

Uses of : Landscaping, Medicinal, Culinary, etc.

Erosion Control: Because it tolerates a wide variety of sites, it can be planted to stabilize banks, for shelterbelts, and from wind and water erosion.

Timber: Although the wood is hard and strong, it has no commercial value except for tool handles and other small items.

Wildlife: It provides excellent cover and nesting sites for many smaller birds. Birds, rodents, and other smaller mammals eat the small fruits. White tailed deer browse the young twigs and leaves.

Beautification: Excellent for environmental plantings including small specimen tree and shrub border.

General Characteristics

General: It is a tree that grows to twenty feet high and is heavily thorny. Leaves are broadest near the base, glabrous, with four to five pairs of lobes, yellow-green and smooth. Flowers are white and produced in clusters of five to seven flowers. Fruits are nearly globe-shaped and bright red in color.

Required Growing Conditions

Kansas hawthorn grows from southern Illinois and Missouri to eastern Kansas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas.

Adaptation Although Kansas hawthorn will succeed in partial shade and different soil types, it grows best in full sunlight and well-drained loamy soils. Crataegus coccinioides will tolerate wet soils becoming drought tolerant once established. It is also wind tolerant making it a good tree species in shelterbelt planting. It is tolerant of atmospheric pollution and performs well in urban settings.

Cultivation and Care

Propagation from Seed or Grafting: Kansas hawthorn can be propagated by either seeds or grafting. Successful propagation using seeds requires acid scarification followed by warm stratification and prechilling. Seeds, whose numbers per lb. varies with species, are planted early in the fall, in drill rows eight to twelve inches apart and covered with 1/4 inch of soil. Seedlings must not be kept in the nursery longer than a year.

Containerized trees should be planted when they are no more than eight feet tall, in the fall or spring. Balled and burlapped trees should be planted in early spring.

Grafting on seedling stock of Crataegus oxyacantha or Crataegus monogyna is best carried out in the winter to early spring.

General Upkeep and Control

Pruning should be done in the winter or early spring in order to maintain a clear shoot leader on young trees and/or remove the weakest branches to allow more light to pass through. Suckers or stems arising from the roots should be removed when they become noticeable.

Pest and Potential Problems Although pests and diseases seldom affect it it is susceptible to fireblight, cedar-hawthorn rust, cedar-quince rust, leaf blight, fruit rot, and leaf spot.

Plant Basics
General Type Tree, Shrub
Growth Duration Perennial
Plant Nativity Native to U.S.

Source: USDA, NRCS, PLANTS Database, plants.usda.gov.
National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA